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Cruising on high-decibel Harmony, with turbulent waterslides and the Ultimate Abyss

  There comes a time when the current leader of “Who’s Got the Biggest Cruise Ship” does not mean much. A few yards of steel here, an extra deck plopped on top there, has little impact on the review of a new ship, as long as the added steel is well utilized. You will hear […]

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Bigger waterpark, more outside dining, craft beers on Carnival Vista cruise ship

When a major cruise line brings out its first new ship in four years, the design, style and atmosphere onboard speak to how the company currently sees itself: This is who we are, now. While some North American cruise companies are moving more upscale or appealing to a more global clientele, Carnival Cruise Line plows […]

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Cruising on new Seven Seas Explorer

With pomp and plenty of elegant adjectives, the 750-passenger luxury cruise ship, Seven Seas Explorer, officially joined the Regent fleet this week in an impressive and regal naming ceremony in posh Monaco. The ship’s maiden voyage is July 20 from Monte Carlo. No one could have asked for a better evening to focus on a […]

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Picking your fellow cruise passengers, making friends at sea — or keeping your distance

When my wife and I boarded Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Symphony in Singapore last year, we asked the maître d’ to find us an interesting dining room table. He was a master arranger. During our 12-day cruise in and around the South China Sea, we thoroughly enjoyed lively dinner conversations and laughter at our table for […]

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Cruising the Lower Danube River, incongruities from Bucharest to Budapest on Emerald Waterways’ Emerald Dawn

Despite the familiar credit card labels pasted on shop doors and ATMs, none of my American cards worked in modern Bucharest, Romania. Across the Danube River, in Bulgaria, crumbling factories and houses remain eerily empty more than 25 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Up the river toward Hungary, Serbia’s capital city of […]

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Best cruising experiences require pre-trip plan-From $100 lunch in Italy to advice from a Headhunter in Borneo

Travelers booking a cruise typically spend lots of time deciding on a ship, cabin and itinerary, but often wait until boarding day to consider what they will do in various ports along the voyage. Yet planning ahead for port stops may yield one of the highlights of your cruise. Here are some of my favorite […]

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Best of new big cruise ships: Anthem and Escape

Norwegian, Royal Caribbean take different tacks on eating, drinking, entertainment Tandem racing and free-fall waterslides or floating in a glass tube that feels like sky diving? Craft beers and tasty bites in a warehouse style sing-along keg room or a clubby pub bar? Oodles of outdoor dining choices or drinks mixed and served by robots? […]

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Living a dream-like suite life on a cruise ship

A growing demand for bigger, grander suites Big, fancy, expensive suites, with butlers, are among the fastest growing accoutrements on cruise ships. Their size and number seem to increase with each new ship. The top suites, which can cost $1,000 a day per person, or more, tend to be among the first accommodations sold out […]

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Fathoming the impacts of do-gooder cruises to the Caribbean

New cruise line Fathom will sail weekly from Miami to the Dominican Republic or Cuba Considering the hard labor required to pour concrete over dirt floors in rural Dominican Republic houses or to haul heavy bags for reforesting the hills, I will make other choices if I book an “impact tourism” week on the new […]

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New cruise port, Amber Cove, to open on the north coast of Dominican Republic-Tours planned to an untapped region

In the mountains near the north coast of the Dominican Republic, our canopied tour bus stopped on a shady country road for a visit to a four-room, wood house of a family of five. A fifth room, the kitchen for making beans, chicken and rice, was in a separate building so as not to spread […]

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